An into the woods fall celebration picnic
A month ago I got an idea in my head. I was dreaming of a fall picnic. Even though most autumn days are filled with rain showers I still went ahead with my plan. I started thinking of recipes, styling, and opportunities arose. The end product is a beautiful semi sunny afternoon in a forest near Utrecht, eating, chatting and laughing with some of the people who I hold dearest.
With baskets, food, a beautiful blanket by By Mölle, July Adrichem's and Annemieke Boots' ceramics and boards crafted by Brood & Plank in our hands we roamed the woods for the perfect spot. I was joined by my partner in crime Rob, my former roommate and good friend Marloes, and my sweet and talented cousin Mirjan, with whom I've teamed up before. I am very grateful they were willing to help me out that Tuesday afternoon, waiting patiently while I was styling everything (it's a science you guys).
People walking by, staring at us, amazed at what they saw. And if I'm honest I myself was surprised as well. If you plan something for weeks, you can only hope it turns out the way you want it to.
I put together a menu from the Sunday Suppers cookbook. One of my favorite books with recipes for gatherings. This is what we had.
Warm Citrus Salad
Apple Cider Cakes
I asked you guys on Instagram & Facebook which recipes you wanted to see on the blog. Most people seemed to agree on the Shakshuka and the Warm Citrus Salad. I really recommend you to buy the Sunday Suppers cookbook, it is full of convenient and delicious recipes. I particularly want to thank Mirjan, for taking these gorgeous fairytale-like photos. I am so happy you were willing to do this. Visit Mirjan's website to see more of her photography.
(serves 4 to 6)
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 green bell or other bell pepper (i used a red one, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp harissa
1/2 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
One 14-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
6 eggs (I could only fit 4)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
How to make it:
1. In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pepper, bay leaf, onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and wilted. Add the harissa, salt, pepper, paprika, fennel, cumin, and coriander. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly, to release the fragrance.
2. Add the ripe and canned tomatoes and the tomato paste, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
3. With the back of a spoon, make six indentations in the sauce. Crack an egg into each indentation. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the eggs are done to your liking, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with the parsley, and serve.
Warm citrus salad
(serves 4 to 6)
3 blood oranges (I used regular oranges)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used thyme)
1 large pink grapefruit
How to make it:
Grate the zest of 1 (blood) orange. Juice the orange, and combine the juice and zest in a saucepan. Do the same with the lemon. Add the wine, sugar, honey, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Peel the remaining 2 (blood) oranges, the grapefruit, and the clementines, and slice into 3/4 inch/ 2 cm thick rounds. Arrange the citrus rounds on a platter and pour the warm liquid over them. Serve warm.